What Difference Could those Possibly Make?

I am a fairly regular leader of Carey Nieuwof’s blog on Christian Leadership for a while now. I have found many of the things he has to say, particularly during the pandemic to be rather insightful.

Recently Nieuwof wrote a post he titled, “Five Rather Startling Reasons People Leave Your Church.” I thought I would share those reasons with you but give you my thoughts. If you would like to read his full post, follow this link.

You Cast Too Big a Vision – Really? I have a vision for village in a third world country to have a clean water source that could take care of their water needs for the foreseeable future so I am casting too big a vision. That is not a vision God has given me for Perritte, at least not yet. But, why would such a thing be too big of a vision?

To be involved in something, anything bigger than you, that has the impact to make a real difference in people’s lives for the future? How is that to large of a vision. If anything today, I believe one of the church’s biggest problems is, our visions and dreams are not big enough. We settle for less than the best when God would answer our prayers. We just need to be bold enough to ask, and then act.

You Grew – When I first went to Elwood in 1991 the average worship attendance was about 40. I really don’t know what the population for that little rural community was. I do know that the population for Midway, the closest town was 303. If we got everyone in town to forget about the other five churches in the immediate area, we wouldn’t be a big church.

I said something about needing some focus on evangelism. One member said, “I don’t want this church to grow. I was a member of a big church once and I didn’t like it.” The man had been a member at First United Methodist in Houston at one time. At the time this conversation happened, First Houston was the largest congregation in the denomination. If we got all the people in the area we wouldn’t come close to Houston First. They had (and probably still do) Sunday school classes larger than our church. There was no need for worry.

Still, if you make no effort to grow, you are moving backward. It is easy to take in no new members. It isn’t so easy to avoid losing old members.

You are reaching different people – Again, REALLY? People from different socio-economic groups, people who have a different skin color, people who have been to prison, don’t need Jesus as part of their life? Really?

It is a sad day when the Church of Jesus Christ fails to welcome people. If you encountered a person dying of thirst and you have water to share, would you not share it. If not, we have some huge issues about loving neighbor we need to talk about. Whatever we would do for a person’s body (physical thirst), we need to be prepared to go deeper and address the spiritual needs as well.

You Got Healthier – They obviously have not looked at me at all. Still, you would walk away because a person or an entire church full of people choose to make lifestyle changes to become what God wants them to be? On this one I am all but speechless.

You Finally Moved into that New Facility – This one is the cousin of the “you grew” excuse. I truly believe that over the next 25 years this one will take care of itself. Out of necessity church buildings and facilities are going to change. We aren’t going to need sanctuaries as big but we may need small television studios. Things are going to change. The church is going to have to change the physical (not the spiritual) to meet the needs of a quickly and ever-changing socilety.

I wish I believed Cary Nieuwhof was wrong about these but I don’t think he is. What the church does as ministry is changing rapidly. As people of faith we need to be ready for that change too.

Be blessed.

Seeking the Genuine,
Keith

Seeking the Genuine,
Keith

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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